U16 Boys - National Indoor Champions

National Club U16 Indoor Finals

The U16 boys indoor squad travelled to Aldersley Sports Centre in Woverhampton on Sunday 20th January 2019 to take on the best in England and won the National title.

Team: Ollie LANDER, Giles HOCKING, Will EVANS, Will WHITMORE, Fergus JACKSON, Charlie HARDEN, Matt DUNCOMBE, Rory PENROSE (Captain), Tom HENLEY and Alex GEORGIOU (Goalkeeper).

The tournament was spread over two days with 4 pool games for each team leading on to semi finals and a final for the successful sides.

 In their first pool game Winchester faced Clifton Robinsons. Despite several short corners and open play scoring opportunities, the game remained level with no goals at half time. The boys then changed up a gear and within 3 minutes were 3-0 ahead with 2 goals from Fergus Jackson and one from Will Whitmore. Now in complete control of the game the boys scored two further goals from Giles Hocking and Rory Penrose to finish comfortable winners at 5-0.

 Next up Brooklands MU, a club with national premier league status and a strong hockey pedigree. Winchester opened the scoring with a Rory Penrose short corner, but soon conceded and all was level at 1-1. Fergus Jackson then netted followed by another from Penrose to make it 3-1. Next, Tom Henley on a mazy run carried the ball the length of the pitch riding tackles on route to neatly slot the ball in the corner of the goal, 4-1 to Winchester. A slight lapse of concentration allowed Brooklands a 2nd goal, but the game ended a comfortable 4-2 to Winchester.

 On to Sunday and pool game 3 v Old Loughtonians, who had looked very strong in their own pool games. A tense game ensued in which Winchester were always in front, but never looked entirely comfortable. The game finished at 4-2 to Winchester with 3 goals from Rory Penrose and 1 from Ferg Jackson, phew.

With a semi final place guaranteed, the final game against Repton would determine the next opposition. Having played Repton School the week before and lost, some of the Winchester boys had a point to prove against the same boys in the club side. A nervous start and Winchester went a goal down, but quickly rectified things with a goal from Will Whitmore. From this point onwards Winchester took control of the game and with another goal from Whitmore and two more from Rory Penrose cruised to a 4-1 victory.

 In the Semi final Winchester were up against East club Saffron Waldon. Winchester started the game with real purpose and within 4 mins were ahead through Rory Penrose. A great goal from Ollie Lander and another from Penrose and Winchester were in control once more, however Saffron Waldon managed to find the net at end the first half at 4-1. In the second half, excellent defensive work from Tom Henley and Charlie Harden and some brilliant goal keeping from Alex Georgiou kept Saffron Waldon at bay and allowed Winchester to rotate the squad and rest some weary legs. Despite some promising attacking work from Will Evans and Giles Hocking, Winchester were unable to increase their lead, but conceded an inconsequential last minute goal to finish the game 4-2 winners.

 On to the final to face the powerful Harrogate who had dominated their pool and their own semi final. Winchester set out their stall from the start with a high press and lots of hard running to deny Harrogate time on the ball. The tactics paid dividends and Winchester were quickly 2-0 up, both goals from Ferg Jackson. Harrogate quickly replied with a goal of their own, but Will Whitmore quickly replied taking the match to 3-1. A worrying injury to Goal Keeper Alex Georgiou in the middle of the first half nearly caused some real problems for Winchester, but after a short medical check the outstanding Georgiou returned to his goal.

 The half time talk was all about keeping the pressure on and not letting Harrogate back into the game and wow did the boys deliver in the second half. Goal 2 from Whitmore was followed by another from Harrogate, 4-2 Winchester. Then the flood gates opened and within 6 minutes Winchester had scored another 4 goals from Ferg Jackson, Matt Duncombe, Will Whitmore and Rory Penrose. The game finished at 8-2 to Winchester and the boys were crowned U16 boys National indoor champions for 2019.